By: Vivian Chan
There are two type of motor skills: fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills is related to the development of small muscles while gross motor skills involves the larger muscles.
At the stage of prereaching, infants may try to reach for an object but are unable to close their hand around it because they close their hands too soon. They start to control their movements around 3 months of age and they gradually improve.
At 6 months, they start putting toys and objects into their mouths, reaches for and grasps objects, shakes objects, and move toys from one hand to the other. At 12 months, infants are able to grasp small objects with their thumb and index finger, bang objects together and put small objects into a cup or container. They are capable of eating with a spoon and drinking from a cup. Banging, shaking, squeezing and throwing are ways they can learn to gain control with their hands.
During an infant’s first month of life, their movements are propelled by the rhythmic pushing movements of their toes and knees. 5 or 6 months later, this movement will disappear and they will start crawling on their hands and knees and by 8 to 9 months of age, they can crawl on flat surfaces. As infants become a year old, many are able to stand up and walk with assistance.
By: Vivian Chan
Reflexes expected from child:
- Eyeblink reflex – protects eye from overly bright lights and foreign objects that might damage it.
- Sucking reflex – baby sucks when something is put into its mouth
- Moro reflex – making grasping motion with their arms in response to a loud noise or when suddenly experiencing a feeling of being dropped
- Babinski – baby’s toes are fanned out with foot is stroked
- Crawling – arms and legs move while pressure is applied to the soles of the feet
- Grasping – fingers closing around an object
- Rooting – head turns w/ mouth open when touched on the cheek
- Stepping – making rhythmic leg movements when held up on a flat surface
Piaget’s Theory explains an infant’s transition from reflexive behavior to their actions. Piaget believed that infants gain knowledge through interaction between the individual and environment. Skills that babies were born with such as: sucking, grasping, listening and looking, are used to learn more about their environment.
During the first substage (0-1.5 months), the baby uses reflexes such as looking and sucking to learn about its environment. From 1.5-4 months, babies find repetition of actions pleasurable to themselves. For example, they may suck their fingers and they would do it repetitively. By the time they reach 4-8 months, they will begin picking up toys and putting them into their mouths. At 8-12 months, babies start learning how to imitate the behavior of others and begin to recognize objects and what the object does. For example, they will act as happy as adults are when they play with them. From 12-18 months, babies make different noises to get the attention of their parents and caregivers. And lastly, when babies reach 18-24 months, they start to understand symbols an use them for problem solving.
By: Therese Brion
The first three months of your baby’s life can be characterized with their astonishing rate of physical growth. In these three months your baby will gain about 6 pounds and grow more than 4 inches in length! Making sure to go to your baby’s 3 monthly checkups is vital in order for you to get a look at growth charts that map out normal development variations and averages. If your baby isn’t up to these specific figures on these charts, don’t worry. Your pediatrician or health care provider will help you understand the growth charts and try to find solutions to any deviations your baby might run into during their normal development. Take a look at this example of a growth chart that might come up at your baby’s early checkups:
By now you may have noticed how fast babies go through clothes everyday. Whether it be potty accidents, spit ups, or massive food fights! Other than littles messes such as these, babies are continuously physically growing. Their clothes become tighter and shorter and your wondering how you can keep up with their rapid growth. And you’ve only used these items a handful of times and you don’t want to waste it!
There are two options for putting these items to good use again: save them for another child (whether it be a new sibling or relative!) or donate ’em! There’s a lot of good organizations for donation! One is called “Loved Twice”. This organization is a non-profit group that collects gently used infant clothes for social workers to give out to hospitals, clinics, and shelters for disadvantaged babies.
Interesting fact: Research shows that babies who are breast-fed gain less weight (compared to formula-fed) during their first year because the milk flow is more controlled from the breast compared to a bottle! Just another benefit from breast feeding!
By: Therese Brion
If there is one important part of your baby’s development that you need to be most informed with, it should be their brain development. The brain: one of the most important parts of a baby’s growth. You are obviously unable physically see the brain’s development, which makes it all the more crucial to pay special attention to it.
A baby’s brain develops in two ways: experience-expectant and experience-dependent
|The brain expects the universe to throw different types of experiences at it and the brain develops in response to these experiences.
- For example, the brain’s response to the difference light & dark, different smells, or tastes.
| The brain develops through unique experiences.
- For example, the brain of a sketch artist and a guitar player will differ from one another because they have used and experienced stimuli in different areas of their brains.
What exactly does “use it or lose it” mean?
Your baby’s brain goes through so much growth at the beginning of their lives. There are different parts (made of nerves & cells) of the brain which grow at specific times and rates, these parts are all responsible for specific tasks. If these parts aren’t simulated correctly either through experience-expectant development or experience-dependent development, then these parts won’t work properly and eventually disappear.
How can you stop your baby from “losing” it?
Simple! Keep playing with your baby! Keep talking to your baby! Basically, keep loving your baby! Placing unfamiliar toys, playing quick games of Peek-A-Boo, and even reading to your baby are great ways of stimulating your baby’s brain and creating different experiences for their brains to respond to. How your baby feels and what your baby sees, hears, and tastes all have a great affect on their development. Keeping the environment of your baby as stimulating and caring as possible will be very beneficial in successful brain development!